From May 16th to 19th, more than one hundred Italian businessmen met with the main representatives in the local public and private sectors to strengthen bonds between both nations. The meeting was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; the Ministry of Economic Development; the ICE agency for foreign trade; the The Confindustria federation of Italian industries and the ABI association of Italian banks.
Some of the topics of the workshops and talks were: Agro-industry, Banks, Universities and Scientific Research, and Tourism.
Last Tuesday, Dr. Alejandro Ceccatto, president of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) and Dr. Lino Barañao, the Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, participated in the workshop on “Universities, Training, Engineers and Research.”
Before several members of the scientific and education community of Italy and Argentina, Dr. Ceccatto described the current situation of the agency, its human resources, and institutional network. In order to strengthen the bonds with Italy, the president of the Council mentioned the previous of cooperation agreements in terms of science promoted by CONICET. In 1961, the governments of both countries signed a framework agreement on scientific and technical cooperation. Years later, in 1985 CONICET and Consejo Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) signed an agreement that was modified in 1994. Finally, in 2003 there was another accord with the University of Rome in which joint work was also promoted.
Despite these agreements, the interaction between both countries in terms of education, science and technology flows continuously. “This interaction has to be reflected and formalized from the institutes and universities so as to plan areas of studies and carry out projects, obtain funding, among other aspects.”
For his part, Barañao spoke about the role of the university: “We need to train enterprising professionals who can pose new questions and are capable of introducing changes in our society instead of storing knowledge.”
The following Italian representatives also participated in the “Workshop Universities”: Iván Scalfarotto, Deputy-Minister of Economic Development; Roberto Battiston, President of the Italian Space Agency (ASI); Vincenzo de Luca, General Director of Country System; and Bernardino Chiaia, representative for the Italian Rectors’ Conference. The Argentine members who also spoke at the workshop were: the Undersecretary of University Policies, Albor Cantard; and the president of the Confederation of Engineering Deans, Sergio Pagani.